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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 11:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 12-05-71

http://www.archive.org/details/gd71-12-05.prefm.miller.3391.sbeok.shnf

Nothing is wrong with this show. Nothing at all.

(I'd forgotten.)

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Poster: zeroenvy Date: Aug 20, 2011 6:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

One of my first dead bootlegs!

I loved the chinacat tease. This one is one of the best.

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Poster: gratefuldiver Date: Aug 20, 2011 3:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I'd like to respectfully add to Cliff's list:

10.27.71 (98)
12.02.71 (99)
12.15.71 (100)

...__[8]o

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Aug 20, 2011 5:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Nice work!

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Poster: gratefuldiver Date: Aug 20, 2011 8:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Thanks, Cliff. Nice to receive a compliment from one of the most respected forum members. This is a tough crowd to break into...especially for one who posts once or twice a month like me.

For the record, every 1971 Keith show you listed made my 5 out of 5 star list. I admit the Oct show I listed is inconsistent but the good parts are sublime. And 12.15.71 I consider to be one of Keith's greatest performances of that era.

...__[8]o

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Poster: N Hoey Date: Aug 22, 2011 12:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Going by calender years to track artistic evolution seems overly simplistic and not very accurate. Lots of transition going on over the course of '71 and other than the commonality of the date on show listings, there's not all that much tying the year together. The relationship with Mickey's Dad ends, Mickey leaves, Pig starts really getting ill and starts staying home sometimes. The Fillmore era ends halfway through the year. Record sales and their career really take off. Jerry puts down Gibsons forever for a Strat. Keith joins. Jerry bows out of the New Riders and pedal steel playing. Solo projects begin. The years ends with things being very very different from the beginning.

While on one hand I get the appeal of the jazzy, noodly style of '73-'74, I think it is also very obvious that they are drifting apart as a cohesive unit through that time. The sounds of the instruments don't blend as well, each guy pursuing his own custom guitar path and sound in a more self indulgent way. The Wall of Sound may have been great in person but it's lousy on tape. Those noise canceling vocal mics are fucking awful sounding, and there's nearly no sense of coherence to the instruments, each one sounds isolated from the others and the effect is of sterility. The coherence of the band's sound is far more appealing and natural on tape from '69 to '72. I have a real hard time enjoying listening to '73-'74, not so much because of the playing, but because the recordings are so discombobulated sounding.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 22, 2011 2:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

There's always the audience tapes. I've noticed the band always sounds more unified & forceful on AUDs than on the widely-separated, "sterile" SBD tapes; the difference is often striking. There are numerous good Wall of Sound AUDs as well.
I'm not sure whether it's just the non-blended instrument sound you dislike, or whether you're hearing the band's playing becoming less cohesive in '73-74 as well...

The Dead changed so much from year to year for at least their first 15 years, using calendar years to track their evolution has always been very easy & convenient. Many of their changes, in fact, coincide with the year breaks, making it a very accurate way to track the band as well (one year doesn't sound much like another). But there are some years, like '71, where they change so abruptly there's a 'split' in the middle of the year; and there are also playing patterns that extend over multiple years, of course.
I suppose there are other ways - "the Gibson era," "the Fillmore era," "the LSD era," "the NRPS era," "the Pigpen era," or whatever - but marking the Dead's changes by years still seems best to me.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 19, 2011 1:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Well, I'll go on record as somewhat of a contrarian on this one. I think 71 shows are almost always weaker than both 72-74 shows and 68-70 shows. I'm not saying this show is "bad" in any way, but for me it is an 85/100, not anywhere close to perfection.

I think it was Garcia who described the 71 GD as the "shoot-em up bar band" version, and that captures it well for me. I much prefer the acid-soaked psychedelic warriors of 68-70 and the space-jazz orchestra of 72-74 to the more conventional 71 style. The 72 band seems to me to be better even in the single songs, tunes like Brown-eyed Women and Jack Straw became more polished.

The Dark Star/MAMU sandwich is obviously the high point, but I don't enjoy the "Sitting on top of the World" transition - Phil brings back the main Dark Star lick, but Jerry wants to go elsewhere, and Sitting on top of the World sounds forced and awkward to me. Bobby's guitar sound is also very bright for the whole show which makes any slight intonation problems sound more out of tune than usual.

Again, this show is certainly "good music" and it is strong in many ways - Jerry sings very well, and the show is long and full of energy throughout, the Dark Star jamming is great, and late 71 with Keith is definitely the best part of 71.

I also admit that my fanatical devotion to "Playing in the Band" makes me much less interested in 71 in general. Every PITB in 1972 is amazing, so that alone pushes every 72 show ahead of every 71 show for me...

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-08-19 20:58:37

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Aug 20, 2011 7:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Wow!

For a "weak" year, there sure seem to be an aweful lot of fantastic shows during 1971. And for a year not esteemed for its jamming, there sure seems to be quite a bit of highly compelling thematic jamming going on. And certainly no shortage of possible best ever song renditions...

02/18/71 (100)
04/28/71 (100)
04/29/71 (100)
07/02/71 (99+)
08/06/71 (99)
10/31/71 (100)
11/07/71 (99+)
11/14/71 (98-99)
11/15/71 (98-99)
12/05/71 (100)

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Aug 20, 2011 4:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Muy simpatico, Cliff. I attended each of your 100 shows and loved them all.

You should have SEEn them--it's more than just the tapes.

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Poster: deadhead53 Date: Aug 20, 2011 8:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Great call Cliff! Those are some "not weak" shows indeed kind sir!

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 19, 2011 2:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

When we previously discussed the loose playing of '69 you commented that without that experience, '72-74 would not have sounded like it did. Don't you think that the '71 experience also contributed to the sound, particularly in '72? They had to get used to one drummer early in the year and then the piano later on. This may not have translated well if they had tried to deal with these changes while experimenting in a more improvisational background. So while I appreciate that '69 was a time for experimenting, i find that many of these experiments came off as sloppy play. Without a little more structure during the changes of '71, i doubt that '72 could have ever sounded so good.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 19, 2011 3:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Yup; it's precisely my perception of the energy + experimentation that translates = absence of lethargy + staleness (not saying that 72 = stale), but you get the idea, I suppose...I hope?

I think that the newness of these various transitional periods can be turned on its head to be part of the attraction, esp when one isn't expecting a great deal on the "tight vocals/play" end of things anyhoo (again, though many love it, One From the Vault might be the "tightest" performance ever, having practiced a great deal during the hiatus, etc., and though many love it, for me it is bland as a result...don't hate me OFTVault lovers, just sayin...).

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Poster: BVD Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Damn! Missed this show by a night. My first show was the night before, but I remember taping this beauty off the radio onto cassette via WNEW radio. This run would make a nice box set.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Aug 19, 2011 7:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

1971 was something of a big year in terms of transition.

Not unlike a baseball team who begins the year with the crew from year last, some fade to the DL, some get traded away and a few get traded in.

Around comes the fall and suddenly there's a new magic in the zen of the line-up and magic happens.

Talk about a dramatic difference in performance styling from February to April, August to October and then December.

For that matter 1971 was a very important year in the annals of The Grateful Dead.


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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I completely agree that 71 is an integral part of the band's trajectory, and even though I rate it less highly than the immediately adjacent years, I still love the music they played in 71, just as I love the music of 82 and 90!

I don't want to change the band's history - I'm not in the "shoulda stopped in year X" camp for any value of X, and I'm also not in the "never shoulda written songs X, Y, Z" - even the songs I don't enjoy personally I still acknowledge as part of the overall gestalt.

So, even though I acknowledge the truth of the fact that 71 is 71 because of the change to one drummer, the integration of a huge amount of newly written songs, Keith's arrival - if I'm evaluating a single show, I still downgrade it's "score" if it doesn't deliver as much jamming as the very top rank of shows.

I understand though that for some, 71 is "just exactly perfect" on the basis of its own virtues, because they would say that what it lacks in extended jamming and intricate setlists, it makes up for with great energy, all the classic NFA->GDTRFB->NFA sequences and Hard to Handles, etc. I appreciate those things, they just don't take me to the same place that 11/8/69 or anything from late 73 does.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I understand where you are coming from, it really comes down to personal preference. I do find it ironic that some of the prettiest jams the band ever did were in a year that usually gets knocked for lack of jamming. The beautiful jam to start the year off, Cliff's favorite Tighten up jam on Hallloween and the really cool NFA jams during the fall. Admittedly all of these jams are much tighter than something from late '69 or late '73 so they may not be everyone's cup of tea. I love them especially the ones with Keith, and feel they are of the same caliber as the tight jams of early '69.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

It's hard to communicate precisely about relative quality and enjoyment. When I make critical comments about 71, it's about trying to place the shows within the continuum of GD performances, and the band was so consistently amazing from 68-74 that saying 71 is the weakest of those years is like saying that Cho Oyu is an easier mountain to climb than K2 - we are still comparing some immense Himalayan peaks.

I think 71 is a truly great year, even for the GD - it is better than 76, 82, 89, and I listen pretty fanatically to those years and will always stand up to defend 89 as a great year when people complain about it! 73 > 71 > 76 > 82 > 93 > any other rock band.

Even the weaker years of the GD are still about as great as composers like Modest Mussorgksy, Domenico Scarlatti, and Sergei Prokofiev, who wrote immortal masterpieces. 71 is about as good as Liszt and Haydn, and 73 is almost as good as Beethoven. Even 94 is at least as good as minor masters like Boccherini, Grieg, or Gershwin - and most rock bands, even pretty great ones like the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin, are considerably below that level.

[At some point, I will post the Ultimate Grand Comparative Chart of musical quality, with 15 different independent axes to quantify everything from raga to bebop to gregorian chant and then map the relative quality of two hundred GD shows sampled from all eras in comparison.]

So, what was I saying? Oh right, 1971 GD (and this show) is amazing music that will live forever in the trans-dimensional pantheon of artistic masterpieces to be compiled by the post-galactic civilizations that emerge phoenixlike from the maximal entropy configuration of a universe stretched to the asymptote of its dark-energy driven expansion. Or something like that.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

FWIW, when I think of what many "novice/part time heads" prefer, it IS 71...ie, S&R, etc., etc (Bertha, M&MU, many tunes from this yr). EG, two of my sons that are part time DEAD lovers would generally pick tunes from this yr for their "collection" tapes, etc., etc.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 19, 2011 5:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

for some strange reason response reminded me of this clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj5k6toS7i8

good answer...i like the way you think

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

From BK's answer for some strange reason I thought it was going to be a clip from High Fidelity or Grossptblank.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I'm honored, that's a blast of nostalgia, that movie was filmed in my hometown (where I still live) and I remember some streets down by campus being blocked off - it was a pretty Big Deal at the time. Fun for me to watch that movie and pick out the locations, and of course it's an 80s classic.

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Poster: deadhead53 Date: Aug 20, 2011 7:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I guess BK that is what makes the band so enduring, that we all enjoy different aspects to the band. I have said many times I am a 71 fanatic and that I do not particularly enjoy the extended playin's, I enjoy the shorter version of playin but I have anjoyed reading you's and others thought on playin and have been listening to many of the extended playin's ( I have not come around yet but I am gettin there!) but I love the grittiness and shoot em up style that sets the stage for 72-74 in my opinion and was the transition from that awesome but uncomparable years of 67-70 to any other period of the Dead. 71 is the bridge to the future of the band. I am lovin all this talk on 71! Such a great year of two drummers to one and Pig to Keith and then the both of them. Just a fascinating period in the band. 12/71 is a great month for the band! I appreciate all the comments on this and all the knowledgeable posters out here!

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 20, 2011 9:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

While I also prefer '72 to '71 [and '72 to '73, for that matter], there are a lot of things to like in '71. I know rock & roll's not your favorite alley, but as far as a more energetic delivery & in particular several of Pigpen's jammed-out songs, 1971 is a treat.
On a historical level as well, you can hear the band gain in "punch" and confidence as the year goes on, and it's remarkable how Keith's addition changes the texture & soon takes the jamming to a new level.

But I'd like to mention that, for the jams alone, 1971 is a key year for the Dead. While the jams may be shorter than in the surrounding years, what happens in them is of great importance - as elbow mentioned, 1972 would not have been possible if they hadn't played the '71 shows first.

One thing I noticed about '71 is that, in the jammed Pigpen songs, they were better able to integrate his raps with simultaneous extended jams than they'd done in most of 1970 - the famed Good Lovin's from the spring are the best examples, but in Europe '72 we'd see the final results in the Good Lovin's, Lovelights, and Cautions of that tour.
It's been mentioned that in 1970 Dark Star was kind of "stuck" in a rigid format, that we'd always get the space>thematic jam sections, etc. In '71 the Dead freed themselves from that structure and we get much looser Stars in which anything can happen - an essential prelude to the massive, sprawling Stars of '72.
The Other One also saw a parallel development, in which the Dead came to abandon the rhythmic boundaries of 1970 (and the whole Cryptical section) and could pursue a wider variety of freewheeling jams & cowboy songs within the Other One structure. Needless to say, this was crucial to the way they'd jam out the Other Ones in '72.
Then there's simply the difference in playing & jam techniques that we hear in this year vs. 1970 - more than I can address right now, but through the year they keep developing that 'telepathic' synchronized approach where they can swirl simultaneously in any direction.

The Dead themselves were very aware they were hitting new ground and were pretty excited about it at the time. As Garcia said about the Other One on the '71 live album, it "unfolds in the Dark Star tradition, so to speak. This new one is even more amazing. It is really some of the best playing that we've ever done."

All that said....jamming was only one of the things they were doing in '71, and it's definitely a year where they concentrated on "the songs" as well. There's many a show where we don't get any extended jam at all, other than perhaps a long NFA solo. Many first sets are all but identical to each other (of course, you could accuse some '72 tours of this as well). Many of the new songs, while enjoyable, still feel undeveloped compared to their later versions. So I do understand the relatively low reputation of '71...

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 20, 2011 4:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

As usual, LIA provides the perfect synthesis of facts and perspective on the music. The discussion of how the texture of the jams changed in 71 is one of the richest areas for further musical analysis, I think. It certainly does represent the pivot-point.

There is a line of argument I am intrigued with that makes the case that the GD late 60s jam style is as much compositional as improvisational. I'll put it in a narrative frame:

When "we" (average Deadhead) first heard Live Dead, it was astounding and almost shocking. How could music that sounds so good and flows so naturally be the result of collective free improvisation? The mythos of Dark Star is that it is a wild leap into the musical unknown, and the 2/27/69 DS sounds just like it was beamed into the brains of the musicians by some alien intelligence.

Once you start really studying the band and listening to multiple shows from the 68-69 DS era, though, it becomes clear that the Live Dead Star is not at all a spur-of-the-moment happenstance - rather, it is a masterful weaving of musical ideas that the band (especially Jerry) had been refining and exploring onstage for months. Not just the notable riffs and melodies, but even most of the spacier atmospheric textures can be found in variant forms in earlier shows.

Artists usually like to mystify and disguise their methods, and the verbal descriptions of the creative process don't usually match up with what we find from examining the available evidence. A famous example is Poe's essay about how he wrote "The Raven" which is scientific, methodical, and not in accordance with other information we have about it. Similarly, the GD (and certainly many commentators) have sometimes emphasized the free and spontaneous elements in their music-making at the expense of the compositional and practiced elements.

None of this diminishes the greatness of the 2/27/69 DS or the GD's improvisations in general. In fact, the similarities and overlap between versions are what create the effect of musical continuity between multiple performances and over the years.

Anyway, to bring it back to 71 - in 71, as LIA commented, we start to see more "truly open" jamming where the band is deliberately trying to play some extended segments in the 01s and Stars without making use of any already known musical ideas. There is definitely a trade-off between traditional musical coherence and openness. There is a certain "perfect balance" of freedom and control in the magical early 69 stars that for many people is the sweet spot for what they want to hear.

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Aug 19, 2011 2:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

While not being specific to this show (I do like it very much), I have to agree with the 68-70, 72-74 analysis.

There are some great shows in 71 but most of the years "Shoot 'em up" just doesnt do it for me like the sourounding years.

I know there are some 71 lovers out there - just a matter of taste I guess, thats what makes the trip so fun

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 19, 2011 1:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

The one and only Muddy Water! Its so nice it makes you wonder why they never went there again.

Here's a newer source that i think sounds a little better:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1971-12-05.fm.matera.100316.sbeok.flac16

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Aug 19, 2011 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

It's a legendary performance, and certainly one of the greatest shows of all-time!

A 100 pointer!

Virtually perfect...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 12:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I was thinking something like that, and thought I was probably overdoing it, and would be shot down immediately if I said something like that :) but if it has the Cliff seal of approval, I guess I can go ahead and gush.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 19, 2011 12:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Not even the Comes a Time? It's probably my favorite one, but I recall you're not too keen on that tune :-)

I love that show.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 12:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Well, there's nothing wrong with the Comes a Time. You're going to hold me to complete consistency, eh? :) I found myself thinking "This is pleasant" during Comes a Time, but still, it just isn't really a song I relate to.

It's the song, btw - I found myself thinking, Gee, Jerry is really singing this with great feeling, and I can appreciate that, but I have no response. It isn't in the performance or the delivery - it's the song itself that somehow just doesn't seem to amount to much, to me.

This post was modified by ringolevio on 2011-08-19 19:26:35

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Aug 19, 2011 7:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

That's exactly it;

Sometimes instead of following the nature of the lyric receiving Garcia's expression both on a instrumental and storyteller basis, is a compelling experience from 1971, 1972 and 1977.



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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 19, 2011 12:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

As noted by CLIFF, a GREAT one...I love the unique "sound/tone" to the Hall and recording, via broadcast/SBD, it comes thru...just like the Harding Theatre the month before, these are the outstanding shows of the Fall, and mark my departure from the boys, listening-wise, these days.

:(